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Special Guest Speaker: Prof. Pan Zhenqiang

“Building Strategic Stability between China and the United States”
& “Reflections on China's Foreign and Security Policy”
By Pan Zhenqiang

China Energy Fund Committee invited Professor Pan Zhenqiang to speak on Sino-US relations on May 7, 2012 in Hong Kong.

In his first speech titled “Building Strategic Stability between China and the United States,” Prof. Pan emphasized that the relationship between China and the United States need not be a “zero-sum” game. He said hostility can be replaced by military cooperation, which will contribute to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region.

Those in attendance included the Consul-Generals of the United States, Egypt, Myanmar, North Korea, Kuwait, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Angola, Russia and others. The presentation is in English.

Prof. Pan’s second speech,, “Reflection on China's Foreign and Security Policy”, focuses on political issues. He believes that China should maintain its "low profile" strategy, which was introduced by the late leader Deng Xiaoping in the 1990s. Instead of saying China is rising, it must acknowledge that it is still at a developing stage, when solving domestic problems should be the priority. China should improve itself before showing off its capabilities. It should adopt a positive attitude when participating in international affairs, he suggested.

The presentation is in Chinese. Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in HKSAR attended the talk.   

Prof. Pan stressed the importance of public diplomacy in his speeches, describing it as a tool which is capable of playing both offensive and defensive roles.

The Occident has developed and matured for more than half century. China, in order to catch up and so as not to lag too far behind, should intensify its development and invest more resources in it. China Energy Fund Committee, the forerunner of China's public diplomacy, was established barely two years ago. Prof. Pan expressed support for CEFC’s work and calls on it to carry on its important mission.

Prof. Pan used a simple, lively and graphic approach in delivering his speeches and kept the audience engaged, leaving them clearly impressed. A lively question-and-answer section wrapped up each of his two presentations.

Prof. Pan is the former director of the Institute of Strategic Studies at the National Defense University (NDU). He has been research fellow at a number of US universities, including the U.S. National Defense University (1987), Stanford University (1988-1989), and Harvard University (1999 and 2000 respectively). His areas of research include: nuclear arms and disarmament, regional security, international relations, China’s security and defense policy.

Prof. Pan is currently Senior Adviser to China Reform Forum (CRF). He is also Director of Research Institute for Strategy and Management of the Central University of Finance and Economics in China; Senior Adviser to China Foundation for International Studies; Adviser to the College of Defense Studies, National Defense University, PLA, China, and Member of the Executive Committee of the Council of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, among other public and academic positions.

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